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Buckle Up Boston

Keep your child safe on every car ride.

Temporary Covid-19 changes

Due to the current pandemic, our partner agencies have made temporary changes to their car seat fitting schedules. 

  • Boston Medical Center has suspended all in-person fittings
  • Boston Children's Hospital has suspended all in-person fittings. They are offering virtual fittings. For more information call 617-355-7332 or email injurypreventionprogram@childrens.harvard.edu
  • Boston EMS continues to offer in-person fittings on a limited, appointment only basis. For more information call 617-343-6891
  • UMASS Memorial Medical Center currently offers virtual car seat checks by appointment only. For more information email carseats@umassmemorial.org

Local fittings are limited, but your child's car seat manufacturer is always available to help install a booster or car seat. Many manufacturers provide virtual guidance. Visit the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association for more information.

Seasonal Safety Information

Heatstroke

Heatstroke begins when your internal body temperature reaches 104 degrees. A child left in a car can reach an internal temperature of 104 degrees 3-5 times faster than an adult. The inside temperature of a car can increase by 20 degrees in 20 minutes and by 40-50 degrees, or more, in an hour. A cracked window will not slow the heating process enough to prevent heatstroke. To prevent heatstroke or death, always take your child with you when exiting your car, even if it's "just for a second".

Watch a simulation of rapid and extreme car heating


 

Hypothermia 

Hypothermia begins when your body loses heat faster than your body can create heat to keep you warm. Children lose heat much faster than adults and are at higher risk of hypothermia. Signs of hypothermia include:

  • cold skin
  • shivering
  • low energy
  • drowsiness
  • confusion
  • slurred speech
  • exhaustion
  • poor coordination

Turning on the heat can reduce the risk of hypothermia but can increase the risk of hyperthermia. Hyperthermia is when the body overheats (heat stroke is a form of hyperthermia). To prevent hypothermia or death always take your child with you when exiting your car.

Never Leave a child in a vehicle unattended

General Safety Information

Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for children. Children should buckle up or be properly secured in a car seat for every car ride. Proper restraint in a car or booster seat, can help prevent injuries. 

Car seats save lives when they are properly installed. According to Boston EMS, 9 out of 10 car seats are incorrectly installed in Boston. Correctly use the car seat by reviewing the instructions from the car seat manufacturer as well as the vehicle owner's manual. If you need help, contact a Child Passenger Safety technician.

Child Passenger Safety Recommendations

Whether it's a car seat or seat belt, make sure everyone is always buckled up for every drive.

Choose the right seat based on your child's age, weight, height, and development. Check the car seat manufacturer instructions for the age, height, and weight limits of each seat.

For more information download the Buckle Up Boston Guide.

  • Keep them in the back seat through age 12
  • Keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible. We recommend up until 3 but follow height and weight guidelines on your specific car seat
  • Only move your child to the next car seat when they outgrow the weight or height limit
  • Most convertible car seats have height and weight limits that allow children to ride rear-facing longer
  • Never add accessories to your child's car seat that did not come with the packaging
  • For a seat belt, the lap belt must lie across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt should lie across the shoulder and chest
  • Dress your child in nothing thicker than a sweatshirt in their car seat. Place your child's coat or blanket over them for warmth
  • Never leave your child alone in the car. Keep your phone, bag, or other item in the back seat to remember to bring your child with you
MA State Requirements
  • Children must be properly secured in a federally approved child passenger restraint until 8 years old OR over 57 inches tall
  • Children ages 8 through 12 must wear a properly fastened safety belt
  • A police officer can stop your vehicle if a child age 12 or under is not properly restrained
  • Children under the age of 13 must stay in the back seat of a moving vehicle
  • Visit Massachusetts Car Seat Safety for more information

Buckle Up Boston Guide-page-001

Car Seat Inspections & Installations

Schedule a free car seat inspection with a Child Passenger Safety technician. 

Boston EMS: 617-343-6891
Boston Medical Center: 617-414-4442
Boston Children’s Hospital: 617-355-7332

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